Sunday, July 27, 2014

Little Big Sugar Salt Cafe (LBSS)

I am starting to realise a new trend in cafés these days - and that's healthier menu options offering meals with superfood as well as dishes that supports different types of diet, such as gluten-free for example.

LBSS is one of the cafés that has jumped onto this bandwagon, and as I have heard, are doing exceptionally well at that.

I've never actually noticed LBSS even though The Boyfriend and I drive through Victoria Street twice or thrice a week. It's easy to miss, with it being surrounded by all the Vietnamese stores. I wished I've found out bout them earlier, but y'know, it's not too late now. ;)

The café's menu works just like how its name suggest - Little, Big, Sugar and Salt. So the menu is categorised into Little Sweet and Big Sweet for those with a sweet tooth, and Little Salt and Big Salt for those who prefer savoury.

I particularly like how they have a healthier take on the menu with gluten free and dairy free dishes for those who are a little more health-conscious, and on the other end of the spectrum, something as indulgent as the triple deck cheesy Croque Monsieur for the rest who just want good food regardless.

So, you see, LBSS really stands out in comparison to other cafés because there's something for everyone. Anyhoos! Let's get started with the food!

It's not often you get to enjoy a cuppa guilt-free hot chocolate that actually taste this good! LBSS make their hot chocolate without sugar; just cacao, dates and almond milk that they make in-house.

Everything in there is good for you, although to be honest, I was a little sceptical at first when I studied the ingredients... But all it took was one sip, and I was sold.

We decided to go with a big savoury dish, and the 'Dr Ron Swanson' really stood out for me - a triple decker Croque Monsieur with a bacon wallet (!!!) of gruyere cheese, bechamel sauce and slow roasted pork hock, then finally topped with a sunny side up.

It was so amazingly good, I simply have to share this close up shot I took of The Boyfriend just digging right in. A generously serving that will definitely fill you up, and tasty at that too.

Of course I'd want something sweet, and considering how generous the Dr Ron Swanson was, we decided a little one would be enough.

Whilst I am not usually a crumpets person, The Boyfriend did seem like as though he had his eyes locked on them so I erm, reluctantly agreed.

I'm glad I did though. These beautifully presented crumpets, served with grilled banana, ricotta, pistachio and orange reduction might have just changed my mind about crumpets.

Little Big Sugar Salt - LBSS Cafe on Urbanspoon
All in all, a great experience in LBSS for The Boyfriend and I. We are giving them two thumbs up for their great food and friendly service. This was our first visit to LBSS and it will definitely not be the last.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Childhood Fav - Mini Sausage Buns

When I was a young girl, I loved following my Mum to bakery stores so I could pick out the buns I like to have during recess at school.

I am rather boring; I pick up the same few ones time and again. Sausage rolls were one of them, and I've missed eating them.

There are Asian bakery stores here in Melbourne such as Breadtop or Breadlicious (my favourite two) but the buns can be a tad expensive for at least $2 each.

So, when I came across this mini sausage rolls recipe by Sonia at Nasi Lemak Lover, I was ecstatic!! They were so cute in size to start, and they did look very much like what you'd get at the bakery. And well, they cost a lot less too; I probably spent about $7 in total for 15 buns.

I made The Boyfriend drive me to the supermarket at 9.30pm (and spent an hour there lol lol thank God for 24 hours Coles) to get all the ingredients so we could bake first thing the following morning.

And this is the final result! How cute are they? These buns were also soft and delicious. Both The Boyfriend and I really enjoyed them! 

They were not difficult to make and having the bread maker knead the dough for me definitely made it much easier for me. ;) 

Mini Sausage Buns
Recipe adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover & modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 200g bread flour
  • 130g milk 
  • 35g sugar
  • 3g instant yeast (1/2 tsp+1/4 tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 15 mini cocktail sausages, washed & pat dry
  • Sesame seeds (for garnishing)
  • Egg wash 

Super cute mini sized dough balls! (Step 3)

Method
  1. If using stand mixer, combine all ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, mix and knead till smooth. Add in butter, continue to knead till elastic and smooth dough. Keep aside to rise till double in size.
  2. Alternatively, if you're using a bread maker machine, simply put all ingredients in and using the dough-knead-only function, knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Then add in butter, without stopping the machine. Let the bread maker finish its round, then set aside to double in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 15 small round balls at 25g each then let rest for 10 mins.
  4. Take a small dough, use a rolling pin to flatten it, then close two ends and look like a cigarette then keep aside to rest for 10 mins. Take a dough, use hand to roll one end to shape it like a cone. Use a rolling pin, roll it flat. Place a sausage at the bigger end, and start to roll like a swiss roll. Place sausage rolls on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the rest till finished. Let it to proof for another 30-45 mins.
  5. Apply egg wash then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake at a pre-heated oven 170°C (fan-forced) for 15-20 mins or 180°C (no fan) for 15-20mins.
Photo credit to Sonia, from Nasi Lemak Lover
Sonia was very lovely to share the step-by-step pictures on how to roll the buns, which I found very convenient, especially as a first timer.

I love popping by Nasi Lemak Lover as I often find recipes that reminds me of home - I've bookmarked the link as one of my favourites and I highly recommend you pop over too. ;)

Anyways, back to the buns!! These buns make a good breakfast, and they're even perfect as an afternoon tea snack with a hot cuppa. I stored them in an airtight container, and they lasted me 3 days.

I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as I did! And if you're a Mum, it'll be fun making these with your kids. Good luck! ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh my, Patbingsoo! ♥

I'm sure the term "patbingsoo" (stylised from 팥빙수, or as it could be otherwise spelt as "patbingsu") isn't as foreign to us as it used to be.

This shaved ice dessert served with red bean paste and other sweet toppings such as ice cream, fruits, or sweet rice cake, is a very popular dessert and is widely available at many bakeries, cafés or restaurants around South Korea.

The unforgettable patbingsoo I had in Nami Island :')
It is however not as popular here in Melbourne and it's almost impossible to find any restaurants that serve this refreshing dessert which is particularly good in scorching summer.

You have no idea how happy I was to find that a new shop called Patbingsoo opened up their doors in South Melbourne, serving modern Korean food and as its name suggests, the shaved ice dessert too.

This is Patbingsoo's version of the dessert. They brought in the bingsoo machine from Korea and I guess that's how they manage to create the snowy shaved ice texture. I loved it!

Milky-based shaved ice, topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream, some rice cakes and red bean paste - this is happiness in a bowl! ♥ ♥ ♥

And of course, The Boyfriend and I could not have gone to Patbingsoo without trying their modern fusion take on K-food so we ordered a deconstructed bibimbap to go with a plate of fried chicken.

Patbingsoo's fried chicken definitely did not taste like other KFC that I've tried. I'm guessing it's their fusion take on the marinade. But the fried chicken had a good crunch and was tasty, I guess that's all we need, really.

The deconstructed bibimbap was also very, very delicious. Although I don't quite understand why they've chosen not to present it in the traditional way, it did taste rather authentic.

I loved the addition of the spicy pork bulgogi which lent the dish more flavour to boot. And don't skimp on the gochujang sauce, it's not that spicy, so I'd say, just go all in! ;)

All in all, a really delicious meal. Patbingsoo is slightly more expensive than your usual Korean restaurant but I guess it's because they're taking an upmarket position here.

Patbingsoo on Urbanspoon
I really appreciate their contemporary presentation and modern approach on K-food and I look forward to coming back again to try the other items off their menu.

And here's another shot of the patbingsoo, just because! ;) I really need to make another trip back to Patbingsoo for this.
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)